Drawing of a person wearing a mask, showing it tightly fitting at top and bottom.

EarthSky’s essential coronavirus links

Updated April 6, 2020. How to wear a mask. Why are some young people being hit hard by COVID-19? The scramble among states for protective personal equipment. Hydroxychloroquine update. Domestic violence increases. COVID-19 in animals.

Fossil skull suggests human ancestors emerged 200,000 years earlier than thought

This newly discovered fossil is a hugely important find, say scientists. It means that one of our earliest ancestors possibly originated in southern Africa. Read more

What is a supermoon?

We’re currently enjoying a “season” of 3 full moon supermoons: March 9, April 7-8 and May 7, 2020. Then we’ll have a “season” of 3 new moon supermoons on September 17, October 16 and November 15, 2020. Supermoon-o-mania, here.

Ready, set, explore Earth from home

We’re at home. How about you? But we just discovered these virtual tours, galleries and live webcams from around the world, which we wanted to share. Stay home, and have some virtual fun …

April 3 is John Burroughs’ birthday

John Burroughs – born in 1837 – was one of the 1st nature writers. He said: “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.”

How to model a pandemic

Behind every government announcement, there is an army of epidemiologists predicting how the virus will spread, and how to beat it. Note that this story doesn’t deal specifically with the University of Washington models released April 5, projecting U.S. infections and deaths from COVID-19 in the coming months. But it does provide insights into how scientists create models.

Side view of a large diamond.

April’s birthstone is the diamond

Happy birthday April babies! Your birthstone, the diamond, is the rich cousin of graphite.

Ancient 4-limbed fish reveals origin of human hand

The origin of digits in land vertebrates is hotly debated, but a new study suggests that human hands likely evolved from the fins of Elpistostege, a fish that lived more than 380 million years ago.

Photo of a solar power plant.

Producing solar power at night

Scientists have developed a new prototype of nighttime solar cells that can produce electricity at night through a radiative cooling mechanism.

More essential coronavirus links: March 17-23

A roundup of information from physicians, scientists and journalists.

Illustration of Earth with a arrow pointing to the equator.

Cheery thoughts for a scary time

Some astronomy thoughts to distract you from quarantine life under the coronavirus plague, from Guy Ottewell.

Submit your #SocialDistanceSelfie

How’re you doing out there? We want to see you and hear from you! Post your selfie at EarthSky Facebook, or at EarthSky Community Photos, or in the comments section of this post.

A Chinese perspective on spring

In Chinese thought, spring is associated with the direction east, the sunrise direction as Earth spins us toward the beginning of each new day.

Watch 2 penguins explore closed Chicago aquarium

You’ll love this video of a couple of penguins openly exploring Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, closed due to COVID-19.

Explore the universe from home

Explore NASA’s online activities, e-books, podcasts and other content.

The front of a pair of binoculars.

Top tips for binocular stargazing

Whether you’re a beginning stargazer or a veteran of thousands of starry nights, binoculars can be your best friend.

School children in uniforms standing on painted Venn Diagrams.

Social distancing: What it is and why it’s the best tool to fight coronavirus

With no vaccines or treatments, the fight against coronavirus comes down to this behavioral technique. A physician explains how it works.

We’ll have 2 Friday the 13ths in 2020

And 2020’s first Friday the 13th is coming up on March 13. It’ll be exactly 13 weeks after the previous Friday the 13th in December 2019. Zoinks!

Why beware the Ides of March?

The Ides of March are March 15. We in modern times probably wouldn’t know about them – or know we’re supposed to beware of them – if it weren’t for William Shakespeare.

A view of the valley from the excavation site.

Ancient humans in India survived Toba super-volcano eruption

The Toba super-volcano eruption 74,000 years ago was 5,000 times larger than that of Mount St. Helens. Somehow, ancient human populations in India survived it.